Oops! Did I Say THAT?!

by Ashley in Italy /
Ashley in Italy's picture
Mar 13, 2009 / 1 comments


Just yesterday we were in the packed grocery store & ran into our neighbors & their young children. I  began telling a very animated story about car problems we’ve been having - I was really rolling here - thinking damn! I’m getting good at speaking Italian, conjugating everything properly, I think they are following everything I’m saying!  Then to really drive the story home, I said - “And Jason yelled...” let’s just say that I compared the Madonna to a pig - the most dangerous blasphamia possible and essentially translated into what would be the combo of mother f’er, c’ sucker - only on a biblical level!

I didn’t just say it - I really projected it through the store - everyone turned, my neighbors turned bright red (but with smiles). Silence fell upon the meat department where we were standing, all eyes on the crazy young American with the potty mouth! Jackie cracked up & said, “what you just said is not beautiful.”  But what?! I was confused, I’ve heard it before - Dottore Gaggi says it all the time, hell, I’ve even heard my neighbors standing next to me say it!

But, yes, as Jason pointed out - they use these curses in the yard, at home, in the car - not in a crowded grocery store in front of the kids (who by the way were the only ones around us that didn’t seem to be fazed!)

As we ducked into an empty isle to re-group I apologized & said - “would it have been better if I used a different swear word, for example...?” What is wrong with me, why can’t I drop it? Now I’m swearing again & they are just cracking up -they reply, “yes, that one would be better, but it’s still not beautiful (non bello)!”

We abandoned our cart & left the store in shame.  This is classic Ashley - with my foot in my mouth! Sometimes I need to remember that curse words in Italy, while seeming a bit more comical - comparing religious figures to farm animals for example are nonetheless as negative in their connotations & meaning as our good old American swear words - let’s just say lesson learned!

Ashley Bartner is the Living in Italy Editor for Wandering Educators.

La Tavola Marche Agriturismo & Cooking Holiday



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